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Is a breath test refusal an automatic guilty?


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There is no such thing as an automatic guilty in criminal law, although many defendants facing DUI charges often feel as if they have few options. This is especially true when a defendant’s breath test refusal is brought up. However, with the severe consequences that can come with a DUI conviction, leaving a conviction up to chance is not a possibility.

Colorado drivers might refuse to undergo a breath test for any number of reasons, each of which is usually unique to that individual. A blood test is usually ordered if a driver refuses a Breathalyzer, although in some instances an attending officer might determine that a field sobriety test is sufficient to file charges. Unfortunately, no matter the reason, a refusal to take a Breathalyzer can be interpreted — no matter how wrongly — as a type of admission to being intoxicated.

In this type of situation, it is important to understand that pleading guilty is not a defendant’s only option. A plea deal negotiated with the prosecution is one viable option, while facing the charges in court is another. While understandably daunting, aggressively fighting the charges in trial court can usually render the best outcome possible for each unique situation when plea deals are not in defendants’ best interests.

Being charged with a DUI after a breath test refusal is a daunting task and one that should not be approached alone. Colorado has severe consequences for DUI convictions, even if it is a first-time offense. In order to avoid jail time, fines and other consequences, most accused individuals are well-advised to work with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.

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